August 3, 2014

From My Nana's Kitchen

Many of my most vivid childhood memories are from the get togethers at my Nana's house when my two cousins and uncle would be in town. My parents, sister, cousins, uncle, Nana and I would gather for dinner outside on the "sunporch" with the adults at the main dining table and the four cousins at a makeshift kids table that was actually just a card table. As simple as those evenings were, they are some of my favorite memories. While my Nana would slave away in the kitchen, my sister, two cousins and I would engage in very intense games of Monopoly or hide-and-go-seek. No matter what, the routine was the same and the menu always included her famous Chicken Pie and Chocolate Chess Pie.

There were a few times when curiosity got the best of me and I would sit in the kitchen while my Nana cooked and attempt to learn the tricks of the trade. God bless the woman for putting up with my very short attention span. While I may not have appreciated those moments at the time, I am eternally thankful that I did manage to retain a few of her kitchen tips and tricks from the time I had with her (also thank goodness she wrote her recipes down and my mom also has them perfected). I know my versions of Nana's dishes will never quite match the deliciousness she magically managed to create, but my mom and I do try to recreate them every now and then. These are my favorite recipes because now mater how pretty (or not so pretty) they turn out, you just do as my Nana would do; let out a little "ehhh" or "shttt" (not a curse word, trust me) and say "it's always the ugliest ones that taste the best."

**Disclaimer: Nana's Chicken Pie is called "Chicken Pie." It is NOT Chicken Pot Pie, "because it's not made in a pot."

Nana's Chicken Pie:

2 - 2.5 cups of chopped, cooked chicken
1.25 cups chicken broth, thicken slightly with flour
Salt & pepper to taste
Onion (optional)
2 frozen pie shells, thawed (1 deep dish)

Boil the chicken and season with salt, pepper and optional onion. Let simmer for 1.5 hours. Once chicken has cooked, cut into bite size pieces. Thicken the broth with a spoon full of flour in a sauce pan. Secret: Use the greasy top of the chicken broth from boiling and then add the flour, it mixes better. Then add more broth until thick enough. Place the chopped chicken in the deep dish pie shell and pour the broth over the meat. Use the other pie shell for a top crust and pinch the edges together. Bake at 375 degrees for 30-45 minutes until crust is brown. You can use Swanson's chicken broth for more gravy if needed.

Nana's Chocolate Chess Pie:

1 stick margarine or butter
1 tablespoon flour
2 eggs
0.25 cup milk
1.25 cup sugar
4 tablespoons cocoa
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 pie shell (my family uses the Pillsbury Pet-Ritz Regular Crust)

Melt butter. In separate pan mix flour, sugar and cocoa. Pour in butter. Stir to mix. Add eggs, one at a time and stir after each one. Add milk and vanilla. Pour into unbaked pie shell. Bake and 350 degrees for 45 minutes.


  1. Sounds delicious! I'm tempted to try making the chicken pie tonight!

  2. That's great! Let us know if you make it and what you think!